A California man was hospitalized after walking into an Orange County nail salon where his estranged wife works, dousing himself in accelerant, and lighting himself on fire.
The 46-year-old Asian man, who has not been named, suffered third degree burns and was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, according to Costa Mesa police Sgt. Clint Dieball.
The man walked into Creative Nails & Spa, which his wife manages, around noon Sunday. Another man inside the salon used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, Dieball said. No one else was injured in the incident.
Salon customer Sherry Skipper-Spurgeon insisted the manager, Lina, was doing her nails when the man walked in. She said the man appeared “very distraught” and began yelling at Lina in Vietnamese.
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"He had a bucket with him, and he takes the bucket and pours this whatever liquid over the top of his head," Skipper-Spurgeon told the Orange County Register. "Then you could smell it, like gasoline."
Then Lina told employees and customers to step outside. Her husband sat down on the floor, and Skipper-Spurgeon dialed 911.
"Next thing you know, someone says `He's got a lighter!'" Skipper-Spurgeon recalled. "As I'm talking to the fire department, he lights himself on fire, and there's a fireball. The flames are completely covering his head, and then there's this poof of smoke,” Skipper-Spurgeon said.
She claimed Lina sobbed in her arms for hours afterwards. The couple reportedly has three children.
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"This is absolutely devastating for her," she said. "She didn't know how she was going to tell her kids about this."